Building something you want to be stuck with

Today I was watching an interview of John O'Nolan (the founder of Ghost). He has been a great source of inspiration during the past years. He has built a publishing platform while moving countries every two months and eventually growing the company into a team of 22 members (and counting).

In the interview, he recognizes his failed attempts at building a billion-dollar company while he was young and how he eventually built Ghost taking the opposite approach. He thought about building something he could never sell. A company to be stuck with indefinitely.

Ghost is not a company but a foundation. If one day he wants to quit, he can't sell the company; he needs to name another head to run the foundation.

It's an interesting approach.

Let's imagine something. In your last job, you did bad things secretly, and you quit afterward. You were happy until the company discovered your horrible behavior and decided to take you to the courts. Surprisingly, Naval Ravikant is the judge, and he forces you to open a company with two constraints:

  1. Do what you want, but it must be useful to society.
  2. If you quit, you go to prison.

The decisions that you'll take to run the company would be different if you knew that you could quit at any moment. You'll take care of the company as much as you take care of yourself. Like a marriage, now you are obligated to share your life forever.

Or until you want to give up your freedom.

Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.